On January 12, 2010, a powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas in Haiti, killing more than 230,000 people, injuring thousands and destroying buildings, roads and other critical infrastructure including many schools and health facilities across the region. More than 2 million people were affected, many left homeless.
An Americares team was on the ground within 48 hours of the disaster, and within days we airlifted $6 million in relief supplies, including lifesaving medicines, to help survivors trapped in the rubble and chaos. We established an office and warehouse, restoring health services and building a stronger, resilient health system throughout Haiti.
Working with over 80 local partners, we made long-term, sustainable improvements in the health system by expanding health services, controlling cholera and preventing outbreaks, improving maternal and child health, and preparing for future disasters:
Control cholera and prevent outbreaks: We invested more than $6.8 million in medicines, supplies and project support to combat cholera in Haiti. With our support, nearly 465,000 Haitians, including health workers, learned to lower their risk of the disease, and more than 150 latrines have been repaired or built to improve community sanitation. We provided enough fluid replacement for more than 475,000 treatments of patients with severe diarrhea, primarily cholera.
Improve maternal and child health: We supported programs and services to improve maternal and child health in Haiti. Americares also provided ambulances for obstetric emergencies and supported vaccination campaigns, construction of a maternity center and training for midwives in communities where such services were lacking.
Help Haitians manage chronic disease: Americares collaborated with local partners to help Haitians manage diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. We provided enough medicine to fill nearly 675,000 prescriptions for these chronic diseases, medicine worth nearly $21.5 million. Projects include a diabetic foot clinic launched with Fondation Haïtienne de Diabète et de Maladies Cardio-Vasculaires to help prevent painful and crippling complications of diabetes.
Restore, rebuild and strengthen health services: To strengthen quality health care in Haiti, we collaborated with more than 80 Haitian health organizations. In one project, Americares created a collaborative network of five health institutions serving a population of 290,000 people in very poor communities. With our help, patients from these vulnerable communities had access to quality medical and surgical services they would otherwise never be able to afford. In another project, Americares provided funds and technical assistance to the BRAC Limb and Brace Center; the center handcrafts prosthetics and braces for close to 3,000 patients.
Americares medicines, supplies as well as our support for projects and services have reached more than 160 hospitals, clinics and community health programs in all 10 departments.